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01-02-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
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Power Problems

So I just bought a new K-X...seems like a common theme on the beginner's corner. Anyhow, I hate to say it, but it seems that the camera could be malfunctioning already. I need some help with this, please.
The issue is with the battery power. I inserted the Energizer Lithium batteries that were included with the camera on Dec. 29th. Since then, I've had it off and on, toying around, learning, reading the manual, taking no more than 75 pictures all the while. This morning, I sat down with the manual again, following instructions, learning to take pictures. I took no more than 5 pictures and it said the battery was depleted. Prior to that, I had no warning. The battery icon was bright green, appearing to have full power. I thought, "Maybe the batteries are depleted?? I've had the camera on, taken serveral pictures, and idled while reading." So, I changed the batteries to Duracell Alkalines then reset the camera to know that I am using alkaline batteries in the user's menu. I continued to practice taking pictures while following the user's manual. A few minutes later (less than 3 minutes), the battery icon is reading half full then suddenly off she goes again. "Battery Depleted". Now I'm wondering, "Were those old/bad batteries?" So I placed four brand new Duracell alkalines into the camera, turned her on again, and the same thing happened after about the same amount of time. I turned the camera to the off position again, then waited about 30 seconds and turned it back on. Tried to take a few pictures with a "full" battery. Then suddenly it's depleted--again.
I hope someone has a simple solution to this. I don't consider myself an idiot. I was a child in the 80's. All of my toys ran on AA's and I'm certain the batteries are placed correctly in the camera. I looked in the battery chamber....nothing foreign. I know temperature can play a roll in battery life. I live in Arizona, it's been 50-70 degrees here.
Any advice or recommendations are appreciated.
Thanks!

01-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #2
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AAs have come a long way since the 80s.
It sounds like your included set of Energizer lithiums were not fresh, despite being new to you.
Then your choice of Duracell alkalines certainly leaves a lot to be desired on a high-powered device like the K-x. You may as well invest in a good set or two of low-discharge AA rechargeables (like the Maha Powerex 2700mAh NiMh batteries) with a decent charger, and it will pay off in just a few charges...

Enjoy your K-x, which I think is fine and hope you enjoy the forum.
01-03-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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Definitely forget alkalines. Did you set the battery type in the menu? Have you updated the firmware to the version that fixes the battery issues that have been widely reported? Have you checked out any of the other threads on the subject (they were common the first week the camera came out) for the various suggestions people came up with? Anyhow, check into these things.
01-03-2010, 02:44 AM   #4
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Glad to already have some help on this issue. I knew as soon as I said that I had put regular duracell's in my k-x that someone would frown upon it. Yes, I understand that they aren't optimal, infact they do disappiont compared to lithiums and rechargables. I've done quite a bit of research on the camera. Almost didn't buy the thing b/c of the AA battery issue. The truth is, I've only had the camera for about a week and I haven't had the time (between work and life) to go buy something substantial. I had a few new packs of duracell's lying around and I used them to get me through...simple as that.
Here's the thing...despite the fact that your typical duracell alkaline isn't optimal, I believe I should be getting more than 3-5 minutes of use (if that) out of them before the camera shuts down telling me the batteries are depleted. Come on...shouldn't they give me a little more than that? Pentax even states that you should be able to get at least 400 pics out of them (give or take).
Yes, batteries have come a long way since the 80's. Hoping someone might see my humor. What I was getting to is I am fully capable of following the + and - diagram when inserting the batteries.
So, if someone might be able to explain why the camera might be shutting off almost immediately after I turn it on, I'd appreciate it. Is this a malfunction on the camera's behalf or is there something I can do? (besides buy better batteries...I'm buying lithiums again this morning. Until then please implore that the simple alkalines should last a bit longer).
I will try new lithiums. If I'm still experiencing the camera shutting off, I'll call pentax's product/customer support. If they can't help me, I'll exchange for a new one.
Thanks again for helping out a new pentaxian.

01-03-2010, 02:49 AM   #5
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Marc,
Thanks for your suggestions. As I stated in my original post, I did change the battery type internally in the camera. I tried to set it to detect both "alkaline" and "auto detect". Neither changed the camera shutting down. I did try to search for some threads before I posted. A broad range of topics came up. Most or all of the results weren't what I was looking for. I haven't update firmware. Might be what I need to do. I believe a call to Pentax is in order. : )
Again, thanks for your time in helping me!
01-03-2010, 03:49 AM   #6
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thread found

Finally, I found the thread regarding the k-x power issues after quite a bit of digging. It's titled:
K-x owners: NiMH batteries results please
Yes, there were pages and pages of discussion on this topic. Very helpful and comforting to know others have experienced this. Although I'm ticked my brand new camera has an issue, at least I know I'm not completely nuts.
I'll run with the firmware update and sticking with a better battery. Guess the camera doesn't like to be confused....
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
01-03-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrsmeisel Quote
Here's the thing...despite the fact that your typical duracell alkaline isn't optimal, I believe I should be getting more than 3-5 minutes of use (if that) out of them before the camera shuts down telling me the batteries are depleted.
Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. Never has been with any Pentax DSLR - power drain is just too much for alkaline

QuoteQuote:
Pentax even states that you should be able to get at least 400 pics out of them (give or take).
Where do they state that? All other models specifically say alkalines are just for "testing camera function" and that the camera basically won't work right with them. I'd be surprised if Pentax is changing their tune on the K-x. I'd say, just give up on alkalines. Use lithiums if you're made of money and don't mind throwing batteries away every few weeks, or else use low self-discharge "hybrid" rechargeables if you're like most people and vlaue your money and the environment. And follow the advice in the other battery threads. There are more than just that one - keep looking. Also check dpreview. But once you install the firmware update, these problems should simply go away without needing to use the workarounds discused in those threads.
01-05-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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I agreewith Marc about alkaline batteries not having the clout, but the manual is a little vague on the matter. On page 14 it says that you can use them then on page 41 it says that the camera may not be fully functional and they are not recommended.

This strikes me as a bit naughty.

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